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Gamer teen to coder

A friends teenage (16) son is considering skipping university and instead training themselves to be a programmer, with a particular interest in making games. Assuming he's starting from scratch what would be some good cheap or free resources to get him started? Both in terms of getting the basics and allow him to work on a game-related project that might hold his interest?
posted by Artw on Dec 31, 2013 - 24 answers

Software job: Am I going to get fired? How to make it go best-ish-ly?

Do verbal warnings predict firing? What should I expect if I do get fired, and how do I make the best of it? [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Dec 25, 2013 - 29 answers

Help me learn how to collaborate with programmers!

Hi everyone, I will soon be working on a project that involves the development of a web platform and will be hiring part-time engineers. I would like to know enough about programming and web development to be able to collaborate with them and understand the language, and have realistic expectations of when things get built. So I am not looking to learn how to program (I wish I had time for that), but rather have a basic understanding of how the system works and fits together (front-end, back-end, etc.) Anyone know of any good online resources- online courses, websites, etc. for this type of knowledge? I've checked out Code Academy and Khan Academy, but both seem heavily focused on helping you learn how to write code vs. understanding the system abstractly and holistically. But I may have missed something. Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by tessalations999 on Dec 21, 2013 - 19 answers

Best Practices for Database Interfaces on the Web?

I'm in the earliest possible stages of building a web interface that will make it easy to display, graph, download, summarize, and interact with a wide variety of data. If you use scientific data from the internet, what are some of the websites you've encountered that make using data the easiest, most intuitive, and give you the best control? Also, what are some must-have features for you, and some of the best and worst design decisions the site builders have made? [more inside]
posted by ropeladder on Dec 21, 2013 - 4 answers

Please shed some light onto my ignorance of iOS development

I'm beginning development of first iOS app and I aim to know as much as I can about what I don't know about app development. [more inside]
posted by j3nn1f3r on Dec 19, 2013 - 6 answers

A pirate's favorite programming language... and mine too?

I'm a daily MATLAB user for data analysis, and fairly fluent with most toolboxes, including Parallel Computing. I know I need to learn something new, though.* (MATLAB is great for prototyping but unwieldy for real data-crunching.) I'm taking a class (Bayesian stat methods) starting in January based around R. What's the best resource to get started with R for someone like me? [more inside]
posted by supercres on Dec 12, 2013 - 14 answers

Making programming videos

I've recently been asked to make a few programming tutorials for work. These would eventually be available to a consumer audience. Looking for good resources (and exemplar videos) for guidance. [more inside]
posted by fishhouses on Dec 11, 2013 - 4 answers

Learn to code the hard way

I want to learn to program, and I really like the webpage for python, "Learn Python the Hard Way." Are there any other books/websites that work in this type of style for learning how to code? Ones where they really stress the basics and walk you through exercises? Thanks.
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Nov 30, 2013 - 13 answers

Getting started with EC2 and SOA

I want to write a web app that deploys to EC2, but not having any prior experience I'm struggling to find the info I need to get started. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore on Nov 29, 2013 - 6 answers

Please help me find video presentation about psychology of programming

Some time ago (maybe four years) I saw a video of a presentation about psychology of computer programming by a man who said he was writing a book about it. He also had a blog where he discussed the book. It wasn't a single blog post about the topic, but a specialised blog about the psychology of programming. I can't find either. [more inside]
posted by kandinski on Nov 27, 2013 - 5 answers

Career advice for math major (also competent programmer)?

I like math. Programming is OK, but I don't want to make it my thing. What careers should I be looking at? (Special snowflake details inside.) [more inside]
posted by sqrtofpi on Nov 25, 2013 - 15 answers

Figuring it out

What should I learn next: Node.js or Android development? [more inside]
posted by antgly on Nov 24, 2013 - 6 answers

Please Help Me Overcome My Programming Anxiety

I am paralyzed trying to work on code. Not sure how to proceed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 14, 2013 - 17 answers

What's my career

Help me find a new career where I don't have to take my job home with me. [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Nov 13, 2013 - 29 answers

Is there anywhere decent to look for freelance web work?

I'm a frontend web developer with quite a long resume. I work full-time but I'd like to pick up some freelance, remote work in my spare time. I'm wondering if there are any places to look besides my personal network, Craigslist, and those awful "Rent-a-coder" sites where you get underbid by overseas folks who'll do it for $9/hr. [more inside]
posted by drjimmy11 on Nov 5, 2013 - 7 answers

Comprehensive machine learning text[book]?

As a post-Masters student in a technical discipline -- computer-science-related -- I find myself wishing to fill in knowledge gaps from courses that I took in school. I'm looking for one, long, comprehensive text on Machine Learning (or several shorter texts) from which to self-teach the whole ML process from beginning to end. Topics of interest would be - supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised learning - clustering, classification etc. Having already delved into Manning's 'Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing' in school I feel I've a decent knowledge of SVMs, perceptrons, clustering, (H)MMs, etc. but I'd like to learn more about general algorithm design, ML and how it has evolved over the years. Thanks! :)
posted by code_n_cakes on Nov 5, 2013 - 4 answers

iOS to Mac development

I'm currently doing iOS development (junior level) as part of my employment as well for personal app development. Is there a guide out there that can help me expand into Mac development using my knowledge of iOS development as a starting point?
posted by antgly on Oct 23, 2013 - 1 answer

DIY DSL shell?

I'd like to build a domain specific language for analyzing fantasy football data. Preferably, with a shell like interface. Something analogous to Jira's JQL or python. Or maybe something like the visualization scripting in Graphite? [more inside]
posted by butterstick on Oct 20, 2013 - 6 answers

Is there a way to upload to Box.net through automator?

I would like to upload a file to Box.net through either automator or applescript and have that function (action) return the shared URL for use later in the script. Is there an easy way to do that? [more inside]
posted by Brent Parker on Oct 17, 2013 - 3 answers

Endless Loop

Can code quality be brought in to a fast and loose web shop? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser on Oct 16, 2013 - 9 answers

Unusual APIs

I have become obsessed with cool and unusual web APIs, especially those that interact with the real world (read or write). Help me find some more. [more inside]
posted by LiteOpera on Oct 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me handle doing a programming interview in an unfamiliar language!

I've been invited to interview for a software development internship at a company I would really like to work for. However, after I'd said yes, I received the detailed outline of the interview, including a test partly in a language I have yet to learn. How can I best prepare in a short amount of time? [more inside]
posted by carbide on Oct 3, 2013 - 8 answers

How to get started in freelance technical training

My day job involves teaching a particular subject to people working in a particular field at a large university. How can I get started doing the same thing on a freelance basis? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 3, 2013 - 1 answer

Modify/hack a Google Hangout "feature": Press to Talk

I want to use a Google Hangout "On Air" for a project, but a tiny limitation is getting in the way. I would like to bypass the 'Press to Talk' functionality with a tiny browser script/hack/modification. My programming knowledge is tiny, but I am sure this could be done super super simply with a script loaded in the browser. Perhaps there's better solution. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Oct 1, 2013 - 4 answers

How does DailyLit split up books into bits?

How do sites like DailyLit split up large text files into smaller files and then email them? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Programming Boot Camp - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I'm currently enrolled in a programming boot camp to facilitate a career change. I feel like I've learned a lot, but the teaching seems to have slowed dramatically. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 25, 2013 - 3 answers

You had me at 'hello world' in n log n operations.

I want to duplicate the experience of taking a college course on algorithms and data structures. I am unlikely to stay in sync with a fast-paced online course with firm deadlines. What are my best options otherwise? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Sep 15, 2013 - 8 answers

Self-teaching programming skills -- some bumps in the road

I know MOOCs have like, a 7% success rate and I'm starting to viscerally understand why. How do you keep yourself on track, as a self-guided learner? How do you shift gears between multiple programming languages? How do you refresh yourself on material after a lapse? Special snowflake background details within. [more inside]
posted by dee lee on Sep 7, 2013 - 6 answers

You had one job!

I want to make a simple website where you can put in your coordinates and it will tell you how far you are from the Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn New York. What's the easiest way to do this? [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Sep 3, 2013 - 9 answers

Security issues to consider?

I'm making a small app (website) that stores arbitrary encrypted data on a server. It's always encrypted on the server; encoding and decoding the information takes place in the browser via JS using the Stanford Javascript Crypto Library. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Aug 25, 2013 - 28 answers

Intensive programming "bootcamp" in California?

I'm interested in taking a month or possibly two off work and focusing intensely during that time on a very practical course of study related to web development. What are my options in California similar to this program? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Aug 16, 2013 - 7 answers

String, or nothing!

Beginning enthusiast programmers on MeFi are often advised to learn by working on a substantial project and then exhibit it publicly on GitHub. How can someone new to a technology or tool scope out learning projects that are (a) commensurate with the learner's current, possibly rudimentary skills, (b) substantial enough to be a significant learning opportunity, and (c) interesting enough to hold the learner's attention past the initial phase? I'm especially interested in suggestions for learners who aren't learning front-end technologies or don't want to build yet another shopping cart or calendar widget.
posted by Nomyte on Aug 1, 2013 - 12 answers

What should I learn first to develop Android app and game?

I need a guide suggestion on learning for developing Android app and game. First of all, I have no background in programming and I am never good in math. What I do have is artistic skill and two ideas for mobile devices, one calendar app and one time management game. [more inside]
posted by lanhan on Jul 28, 2013 - 8 answers

State of the art indie/hobby game programming tools?

It's been nearly 10 years since I've poked at game programming as a hobby (Hi smackwich!). What are the best platforms, engines or technologies for not-windows hobby/indie game devs these days? [more inside]
posted by wrok on Jul 26, 2013 - 10 answers

What monthly maintence fee is appropriate for a 10k software project?

I'm a very inexperienced freelance programmer, who recently delivered a completed software project to a client. They liked it, and asked me if I'd consider "a small annual fee for three years to help with technical issues once it goes live". That sounds fine to me! Except that I have no idea what to charge here - I'd guess 10% p/a but that's pure speculation. Is there some sort of industry standard I could refer to for this sort of thing? If not, what do you typically ask for?
posted by piato on Jul 26, 2013 - 9 answers

How to transition into software without a CS degree

Career advice filter: I'm currently an experienced research assistant at a major research university (three years out of undergrad) who developed serious programming skills working on NLP projects doing parsing and information retrieval. My undergraduate degree is in Linguistics. I'm attempting a career transition into a more purely technical, software-oriented, possibly NLP-flavored position. Do you have any practical advice for ways that I can showcase my programming abilities and/or convince prospective employers that I am solid candidate (despite the lack of CS degree)? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Coding in a corner of the world

I’m a US citizen and would like to go somewhere for a coding 'vacation' for a few months. Essentially I just want to live somewhere cheap and work to improve my software development skills – learn new languages, build a couple projects, etc. Where could/should I go? [more inside]
posted by twobit on Jul 15, 2013 - 19 answers

IntertiaFilter

What $20 item will help me remember that I can make better use of my time than playing video games? Exciting snowflakes inside! [more inside]
posted by Tevin on Jul 12, 2013 - 14 answers

How do I scope a dynamic webpage thingy?

I'm pretty dim, but I've been told to write a scope of work for a dynamic webpage. Can you help me with the lingo? [more inside]
posted by Banish Misfortune on Jul 11, 2013 - 5 answers

Custom Software to Vendor Solution, job security?

I work for a large public sector institution. We have about 30 developers. Our code base is about 2 million lines of code. It's been custom developed over about 12 years. New CIO wants to gradually replace it all with vendor solutions, 3rd party apps. Reasoning being is that they want their apps to do more and more and feel 3rd party (SAP/PeopleSoft/etc) can do it faster. They state that they won't need to let anyone go, since the new system to replace this one will be doing so much more there will be a need for programmers to do an maintain integration code. I'm a developer, what is the end scenario here? More developers? Less? All outsourced? Are there case studies of similar transitions?
posted by anonymous on Jul 6, 2013 - 7 answers

Google App Script - no error generated?

Google App Script - no error generated? I have two scripts that run on form submit, but sometimes they don't run at all. No emailed errors, no messages to the execution transcript or log. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 1, 2013 - 0 answers

Text Messaging is Overrated...?

I can't find a text messaging app that does everything I want, so I use multiple apps and confuse my friends with multiple phone numbers. Is there a better way? [more inside]
posted by emoemu on Jun 28, 2013 - 12 answers

Where to set up a development environment for personal projects?

I'm working on some personal full-stack projects and trying to figure out what my options are for setting up a development environment. For work stuff, I'm used to deploying a dev environment on a machine inside the corporate firewall and then either VPNing or SSHing in to work on it remotely, but I'm not sure what the best choice is for personal projects. [more inside]
posted by asterix on Jun 25, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me find a website: mash your keyboard and lines of code appear

That's about it - it was a one-trick website with a programming version of Guitar Hero, where you would mash your keyboard and lines of code would appear in that rhythm. Help?
posted by sixswitch on Jun 22, 2013 - 3 answers

Small Erlang: An answer looking for a problem

What are some practical, small (meaning not necessarily enterprise scale) uses for Erlang? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Jun 18, 2013 - 5 answers

Endgame tools for a cyclist trying to bike down every street in a city?

For the past year I've been trying to bike down every street in St Louis. In the beginning this was easy and wide-open and fun. The middle has been less so. Now, sitting at ≈65% completion [map: zoomable | 1.5mb png | GPX] my current approach has become overwhelming and tedious, and is no longer working; I need to get way smarter about this. How would a programmer, a mathematician, or a GIS/transit specialist approach this endgame, and what tools/software would he/she use? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jun 13, 2013 - 10 answers

A change of scenery would be nice

I'm in a pretty miserable job and I'm trying to get another gig. A yearlong job hunt hasn't really been fruitful, so I'm trying to branch out. What else should I be looking for? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 12, 2013 - 9 answers

=== JavaScript is actually not that ugly. ===

I'd like to learn basic CoffeeScript for a one-off project, but most of the books I've seen come from the perspective of the JS developer making the leap to CS. JS is ubiquitous and will no doubt come in handy in many more situations. What is a good pocket library of 3-4 books for someone new to JS and front-end web dev stuff, but not new to programming concepts? (For example, my C pocket library is K&R, Deep C secrets, and C: A Reference Manual. I know that the front-end web world is a lot richer than C-world, but do what you can to help me.)
posted by Nomyte on Jun 12, 2013 - 5 answers

Where do I start with iOS/Android native app development?

Currently a Microsoft developer looking to expand my horizons into the world of mobile native application development. I've ready quite a bit regarding the debate between native and non-native apps (PhoneGap vs. native iOS vs. native Android vs. Titanium vs. other frameworks). I'd like to take a stab at getting my feet wet with Objective-C and iOS first. Where do I start? [more inside]
posted by MMALR on Jun 10, 2013 - 6 answers

What should I bid to implement a fairly simple Python scheduling system?

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting with someone to talk about implementing a local scheduling/database application. Most everything I know about the project suggests it's something I could do in my sleep. Thing is, I desperately need the money, I don't know how much to "bid," and I have a long history of undervaluing my work. How much should I ask for? [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 10, 2013 - 21 answers

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